Monday, February 04, 2013

Chocolate Hazelnut Birthday Cake!

Today is my aunt Sara's birthday, and this weekend we had a super fun birthday party for her. It was such a great time. She invited family, family friends, and some of her own friends for a simple and yummy dinner: Veggie burgers (or portabello burgers), veggies + hummus, green salad, and oven fried potatoes with rosemary. If you couldn't tell from the menu, my aunt Sara is a vegan too! :)

Of course, she needed a birthday cake!  I knew I wanted to make something special... and Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats suggested I make a Chocolate-Hazelnut cake. Good idea! I used the "Your Basic Chocolate Cupcake" recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World as the base. I made a double batch of the cupcake recipe and made two 8" layers.* I subbed out 1/4 cup of the soymilk in each batch for 1/4 cup of Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur. I also added hazelnut & chocolate extracts to the batter for extra flavor power.

*(one batch of cupcake batter = one 8" layer. Bake a little longer)

You can't tell from these pictures, but between the two layers, I made a batch of Hazelnut Butter frosting. It was hazelnut butter (just pure 100% hazelnuts), powdered sugar, and more Frangelico liqueur. Plus some hazelnut and vanilla extract. It was so thick, almost more like a hazelnut marzipan than frosting! It's the same stuff that I used for the little decorative blobs on the top of the cake.

Then I made a double batch of the Rich Chocolate Ganache (also from VCTOtW) and spread that all over the cake. It was thick and delicious and easy to work with. Finally, I roasted and chopped up some hazelnuts and coated the sides of the cake with them. I was super excited about that part, because I've always wanted to make a cake with nuts all around the side, but didn't know how to do it. I looked it up on YouTube, and this video gave me all the tips I needed. It turned out so beautifully, and the crunchy nuts were a great contribution to the over all cake-eating experience!

My aunt Sara loves games, so there were board games on every table, and we played a fun little game called Spot It. Then, after dessert, we all played a version of Charades where you had to act out familiar expressions (like "the cat's got your tongue," or "great minds think alike," etc). It was especially fun because we had friends from Italy and Mexico there, so we got to learn about equivalent expressions in other languages ("The cobbler's children have no shoes" = "In the blacksmith's house, the knives are made of wood.") It was such a fun night!


  1. The cake is beautiful! I'm sure your aunt was just delighted! All of the games sound super fun. We always play Celebrity at gatherings, but I'll have to remember your ideas for future events!

  2. What a beautiful cake! I love how you decorated it -- I'm sure your aunt loved it!

  3. wow this looks amazing! you did a wonderful job. i'd love to try it!

  4. Cake looks awesome!

  5. Anonymous4:38 AM

    OMG, this cake looks beyond delicious! Your baking skills are truly amazing (I think I marvelled at your awesome gingerbread-yogis for about an hour or so...)! Love, Katrin

  6. Just beautiful! What a lucky aunt. You are really a special person, Amey <3

  7. Anonymous1:32 PM

    Beautiful job Amey! I would devour that cake in a heartbeat.

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  9. What I perfect birthday cake. i love that your aunt's a vegan too, that's awesome.


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